2013 Santa Cruz V10 Carbon – we ride the ‘lightest and strongest downhill bike in the world’

The Santa Cruz V10 has an incredible pedigree – 64 World Cup podiums, 14 wins and two overall titles. It was also the first carbon fibre downhill bike to win a World Champs. Now a new version has been released to the public, and Santa Cruz reckon it’s the “lightest and strongest downhill bike in the world”. We got to ride it at the official launch in Massa Vechia, Italy. Here’s what we discovered…

Race proven

Complete with a top-flight spec, the 2013 Santa Cruz V10 Carbon is pretty much the same bike piloted by Steve PeatGreg Minnaar and Josh Bryceland on the World Cup circuit. While the original V10 Carbon had an alloy rear triangle, the new frame is all carbon, with the front and rear ends now manufactured in the same plant.

Super-light

This change, combined with a revised carbon layup up front, has brought the weight of a medium frame with RockShox Vivid Air shock down to a scant 6.97lb (3.15kg) – that’s nearly 2lb lighter than before! Despite this, Santa Cruz are so confident in their carbon fibre technology that they offer a five-year warranty, backed up by a lifetime warranty on bearings and a crash replacement scheme.

New features

The back end now features 157mm spacing, for easier wheel installation. Against the current trend, cable routing has been left external, on the behest of the Santa Cruz Syndicate race mechanics. There’s also some tidy armouring, heal-protection padding and fork bumpers built into the frame. Santa Cruz feel strongly that you shouldn’t need to add or stick anything to such a good-looking, light bike.

Wishlist spec

Equipment is largely provided by the Syndicate race team’s sponsors. A Fox 40 RC2 fork takes care of things up front while a full Shimano Saint groupset (bar SRAM Descendent cranks) takes care of braking and getting the power down. The wheels are more than a bit special, comprising ENVE Composites carbon rims on DT Swiss hubs.

Steve Peat puts the V10c through its paces. Picture by Santa Cruz / Gary Perkin

Steve Peat puts the V10c through its paces. Picture by Santa Cruz / Gary Perkin

Page 1: Introduction
Page 2: How does it ride?
Page 3: Pricing and specs
Page 4: Photos
Page 5: Videos